We talked with Devon Carver to get more details after this morning's new blog post.
The Guild Wars 2 World vs World (WvW) Spring Tournament 2014 starts in three weeks. In preparation for the new tournament structure, ArenaNet has released a new blog post giving out more details. In addition to the blog post, we had the chance to talk with Devon Carver, WvW Coordinator, about the new changes.
The first change is that the tournament has been expanded from its previous 7-week long schedule to a 9-week long schedule. I asked Devon the reason behind this change and he simply said that they ran into some technical concerns that would be solved by adding a couple weeks to the schedule. He further commented that the team expects this extension will add more competitiveness between the top worlds toward the end of the tourney, so when it was discovered that it solved the problem and made a good change it was a no brainer to extend it. With the new extended schedule, the Spring Tourney 2014 will start on March 28 and run through May 30.
As previously explained in the Spring Tourney announcement blog, the tournament will not have a fixed schedule. Instead, it will use a Swiss-style tournament structure that matches up worlds based on their current point totals tallied at the end of each weekly matchup. To start off the tournament, however, worlds will be matched up based on their world’s current ratings. Any ties in points will also be determined by ratings which should help keep higher ranked worlds facing each other until points have leveled out after a few weeks.
A world’s WvW rating will also soon affect the price of transferring to other servers (a detailed chart of prices is available on the official blog). This change will start March 18 with the new patch. Devon said that this change not occurring until the next patch as a necessity since the ability to change prices based on a world’s rating will not be in the game until the patch. These new prices will make transfers to higher rated worlds more expensive than lower rated worlds within each league.
On March 28, with the start of the Spring Tourney, the prices for world transfers will be fixed for the entirety of the tournament based on the current world ratings. I asked Devon why these prices were being fixed at the start of the tournament and not changing based on a world’s current standings. The answer is that they want to have stability with how they are charging players by not allowing prices to change on a super frequent basis. Also, they don’t want to create a situation where a player is getting ready to transfer to another server only to see a sharp price increase before they are able to.
In addition to these new transfer costs, there will also be some limitations to how players play WvW and are rewarded after transferring servers. After a transfer, players will not be able to play on the original maps (Eternal Battleground and the Borderlands) until after the current and subsequent weekly matches have ended. Players will still be able to play in the Edge of the Mists where they may work on the meta, but will not be able to help (or hurt) their new world’s WvW score on the main maps.
Along with the grace period, a change to how a player's rewarding server is calculated is coming with the Spring Tourney. Your rewarding server will now be the server that you put the most time and effort into. I asked Devon to explain in more detail how this works, but he didn’t want to go into the nuts and bolts of the change. He did give an example that if a player is on Blackgate for four weeks and then Northern Shiverpeaks for five weeks, then the player would be rewarded with Northern Shiverpeaks. He did say, however, that it is not only time that will affect your current reward world, but also the effort put in for each world. To help players know where they stand in terms of their rewarding world, a new NPC will appear in each of the WvW maps that will list where players currently will be rewarded.
As for rewards, Devon confirmed that the same leagues that existed during WvW Season 1 will exist for the Spring Tourney and that it is the rank within these smaller leagues that will determine the rewards given. The rewards for the Spring Tourney will be tickets that players can trade in for new weapons, ascended accessories, a mini dolyak, crafting materials or world experience.
Having completed the WvW Season 1 meta, I noticed that the Mini Dolyak (a reward from the season 1 meta) was on the list of available rewards redeemed with tickets. I asked Devon if this was really the same miniature pet that players received at the end of season 1 and he confirmed that it was, explaining that the percentage of players that finished the season 1 meta was much lower than the team expected. With the easier meta of the Spring Tourney, the team wanted to allow more players the ability to get this mini. Players who completed the season 1 meta will simply be able to save their tickets for one of the other rewards as they will already own this special mini.
I then asked Devon what the difference was between the Hero’s weapons and the Mistforged Hero’s weapons. There are two differences between the two weapon sets. The first is the addition of some effects to Mistforged weapons. Both weapons look the same, but Mistforged will have a bonus effect layered over top of the texture. The other difference is that the weapons will not be skins. The Hero’s weapons will be rare quality weapons while the Mistforged variants will be exotic. Both versions are actual weapons that will allow players to select their stats.
Players who bought the non-Mistforged weapons will be able to upgrade them through the Mystic Forge with the new Gift of Heroes item available for tickets and badges of honor. Players who have the available tickets will want to immediately cash in for the Mistforged weapons to bypass the additional costs required for upgrading, but the cheap price of the non-Mistforged Hero’s weapons will allow everyone who finished the meta to be capable of acquiring one of the new skins. The Gift of Heroes will only be used for upgrading these Hero’s weapons and were added as a way for players to get one of these new skins now, save their remaining tickets and upgrade them after the next WvW tournament tickets are rewarded.
All of these new ticket rewards are in addition to players receiving a unique title and a limited-use dolyak finisher (if they were in one of the top 3 worlds in a league) if they had finished the Spring Tourney’s meta.
Matt “Mattsta” Adams
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